What do I do? Good question. My wife wants to know, too. She sees me at the computer for hours and hours, but it takes a long time for a book to be produced, so she’s certain I’ve got an online gambling addiction or I’m playing Words With Friends or something.
But what I do is make people laugh. Or cry. Sometimes on the same page. Or I make them see things they thought they knew, but suddenly everything is upside down and they are looking at the world in a whole new way.
What I do is tell amazing stories.
There are many authors who create a new idea or topic and write about it. Allison Maruska has done that, Jennifer Ruff. Others, of course. I have found most often I am taking something that is very known and familiar, and presenting it to you in a verrrrry different way. That’s much harder. In The Navigators that might make you scratch your head, and in Poggibonsi it might make you fall on the floor laughing. On purpose, I mean. In An Angel On Her Shoulder, it might make you cry.
That’s what I do. Grab you on page one and send you on a rollercoaster ride.
Because it’s fun. I think it was Hemingway who said writing was the only thing besides sex that gave him that much pleasure.
I think I backed into writing, because people who read my stuff kept telling me I was a good writer and that I should write books (and I kept saying no) – but then I realized I’d always been writing, ever since I was a kid, even when nobody was reading it.
Then one day I said okay, I’ll do a book – and, you know; the rest is kind of history. Savvy Stories was a hit. But there’s a huge thrill to bringing the reader down a dark alley and then having the monster jump out and scare the hell out of them. Or taking them to the top of the roller coaster and shoving them off and watching them scream as they go down the hill.
Or quietly and reverently talking about the love of a faithful old dog who you wrapped in his favorite blanket and rested on your lap as you rocked him gently to sleep on the day he decided you were finally ready for him to pass – and having the knowledge that your entire audience is crying right along with you as your tears hit the keyboard.
If you can do that, if you have the ability to put people into any emotional state your story requires, to make them fall in love or break their hearts, or laugh or cry along with your characters, then why would anyone think you could not do that? You have to share that gift with the world. You have to.
By the way, it’s just as good to make somebody laugh, and to laugh hard, but I’ll tell you two things about that. First, it’s extremely hard to do. Second, if you make somebody cry you are an artist. If you make them laugh you are a clown. Comedy is not respected.
Your readers will hate this. I like to get up really early to do my writing. 4am is usually my start time.
Every person who wants to write a book says they don’t have time to write, or they can’t find time to write. Well, the ones who say that are usually inadvertently prioritizing something else. I’m not saying you write before you attend to your family or other obligations, I’m simply saying if you if you view writing as an obligation or a job, etc., that you will schedule it and you will stick to it and you will get the writing done.
Most would-be writers are current with their personal email and Facebook but don’t get their daily word count done.
I do it the opposite.
I do my writing first and I’ll check email sometime through the day – or possibly tomorrow.
I always say, if your head hits the pillow tonight and you are caught up on the Kardashians but didn’t get your work count done, how do you feel? But if your head hits the pillow tonight and your word count got done but you didn’t catch the latest episode of “Big Bang Theory,” are you really gonna lose sleep over it? I mean, did you want to write a book or not? It’s not magic.
We all have 24 hours in the day if you’re not getting your book written it’s because you are choosing to do something else. My friend who plays golf always says he can’t find time to write. I always tell him I can’t find time to play golf.
Find time to write? Where ya gonna look, in the seat cushions of the couch? You have to schedule your writing time – and stick to it. That’s how amazing time travel mysteries like The Navigators came about, or break your heart romantic comedies like Poggibonsi, or paranormal suspense thrillers like An Angel On Her Shoulder. Make it a habit and you’ll start getting it done, and next thing you know you’ll have written a book. If I can, you can.
But don’t ask me what’s up with the Kardashians. I won’t know.
International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry – or hang onto the edge of your seat – has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.”
Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. His unique writing style can make you chuckle or shed tears—sometimes on the same page (or steam up the room if it’s one of his romances). Regardless of genre, his novels always contain unexpected twists and turns, and his endearing nonfiction stories will stay in your heart forever. 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew, co-authored by Dan, has been a valuable tool for upcoming writers (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping new authors is evident in his wildly popular blog “Dan Alatorre – AUTHOR.”
Dan’s success is widespread and varied. In addition to being a bestselling author, he has achieved President’s Circle with two different Fortune 500 companies. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre.com or watch his hilarious YouTube show, Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan also mentors grade school children in his Young Authors Club and adults in his Authors Club For Adults, helping struggling authors find their voice and get published.
Dan resides in the Tampa, Florida area with his wife and daughter.
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of the award-winning novel In the Context of Love, a story about one woman’s need to tell the truth without shame.
Angelica had always suspected there was something deeply disturbing about her family, but the truth was more than she bargained for.
Sarton Women’s Fiction Finalist
Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist
Readers’ Favorite Finalist
USA Book News Best Book Finalist
Great Midwest Book Fest Honorable Mention.
“…at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed Once Upon a River,and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters